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In Case of Emergency: 15 Essential Things You Should Keep in Your Car

Have you ever ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere? Did you get a flat tire on a road trip one time? These are only two of the many unexpected things that can happen on the road.

As such, there are a few items you should always keep in your car in case of emergency. Regardless of the situation, the right emergency preparations make the whole experience much easier to handle.

If you’re not sure what you should keep in your car and what you don’t really need, check out the list of essentials below.

1. A First-Aid Kit

It’s better to have a first-aid kit and not need it than to need one and not have it. This can be said for many of the items on this list, but it’s especially true in terms of first-aid.

This small little kit makes a huge difference. From a simple item like a band-aid to something more important like a needle or an antiseptic wipe, a first-aid kit can keep you safe and well in the case of a roadside emergency.

2. A Toolkit

As great as a first-aid kit can be, it’s not very useful for your car. That’s why you need a toolkit, too. This is your go-to emergency item when you have a flat tire, or you need to check under the hood.

It provides you with (pretty much) all the items you need to make a quick repair and get on your way.

3. A Flashlight and Batteries

What if you experience a roadside emergency in the middle of the night, or at night in general? Then you’re going to need a flashlight and batteries.

These ensure you’re able to get a good look at what you’re doing whether that be fixing a small cut on your finger or changing a tire.

4. An Umbrella

Sometimes it’s dark outside in the middle of the day due to rain. In such cases, you also need an umbrella to help you assess the situation and try to handle it.

Even if you prefer to wait for roadside assistance, you may need the umbrella once your support arrives. This will keep you dry as the professionals get behind the wheel or as you move from one car to another to get home.

5. Gloves

Here’s an item not many people think about: gloves! These are more useful than you might think.

Gloves help you get a good grip on what you’re working out if it’s raining. More so, they protect your hands from electrocution or intense heat as you’re checking the engine and making repairs.

6. Paper Towels

If you don’t have any gloves laying around, at least put some paper towels in your car in the meantime. These will help you clean off after checking the hood or getting underneath the car when assessing the situation in an emergency.

Not to mention, you won’t always have to pull over because something is wrong with the car. If a passenger feels nauseous or your little one has a bathroom mishap, you’re going to be glad you thought to have this in your car.

7. Emergency Signal Tools

Whatever the reason you’re pulling over, it’s best to put emergency signs on the ground. You should be able to find caution triangles at most auto shops.

But, you can also opt for a flare if you live in a rural area or just want to make sure you’re as best prepared as possible. Flares work in all kinds of weather conditions to signal that you need help right away.

8. A Seat Belt Cutter

You won’t always have time to wait for a response from a flare, or the ability to get out of the car and send out the signal for that matter. In some cases, your main objective is simply going to be getting out of the car.

Keep a seat belt cutter under the seat or in the glove compartment. Although the fabric feels light on your body when you’re driving around, it’s actually pretty tough to break. A cutter ensures you can get out of it quickly if necessary.

9. Printed Maps

Another one of the handy things to keep in your car is a printed map. This may sound silly considering the digital age in which we live. But, what happens if you don’t have signal on a road trip or if your phone dies?

You still need to be able to tell where you are and where you should be headed. One simple map purchase can help you do just that.

10. Insurance Information

This one is kind of a no-brainer. There’s no reason for you to not have your car insurance information in your vehicle at all times.

But, you’d be surprised how many drivers don’t have this paperwork on-hand! Consider this part of the things you should keep in your car as a reminder of must-haves, not just a suggestion.

11. Non-Perishable Snacks

Insurance information comes in handy when you’re calling roadside assistance or getting a tow truck. The thing about such solutions, though, is they may take a little time. Keep a few non-perishable snacks in the car to help hold you over while you wait.

It’s not the best idea to leave food in the car long-term. However, try to leave the house with a water bottle and a light snack whenever you’re getting on the highway or just running errands. You never know when you’ll need it!

12. A Change of Clothes

Let’s say you do get caught in the rain and decide to check out what’s wrong with your car. You have an umbrella but the wind blows onto your lower body, or you step in a puddle.

What now? You get back in your car and change your clothes! This is just one example when you’ll be glad you had a spare t-shirt and bottoms in the car. Although this may not be the most fashionable look, it will be incredibly comfortable.

13. A Gas Container

Almost every driver at some point in their life runs out of gas. But, not everyone has a gas container handy to make the situation more bearable.

You don’t necessarily have to keep it all the way full. Filling it up halfway lowers the possibility of the can tilting over or spilling while you’re driving around. Yet, it gives you enough to make it to the next gas station should you ever need an emergency boost.

14. Jumper Cables

There’s needing a little bit of extra gas; then there’s needing an actual boost by hooking up jumper cables to another car. This is much easier to do when you already have the jumper cables available.

Keep them in your trunk in case of an emergency you experience, or if a friend in need calls you. You can also look into getting a battery tender plus.

15. A Spare Tire

Last but not least, a spare tire. Even if you don’t know how to change a tire yourself, it’s better to have a spare than to have to scramble for one.

Not to mention, tires are expensive. Taking care of this cost now saves you a significant amount of stress later!

Gathering All the Things You Should Keep in Your Car

A roadside emergency can happen at any moment. It may occur on your way to work or in the middle of traffic while you’re headed on a weekend getaway.

Whenever it happens, though, you’ll be prepared if you have all the things you should keep in your car listed above! Start gathering these items sooner rather than later.

Place them in areas of the car that are easy to access and safe for certain items. For example, gas cans are best kept in the trunk, and you may want to keep your first aid kit out of the reach of children or pets.

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